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From Birse, Aberdeenshire

Postcard of Bead.
© National Museums Scotland


This glass bead was found at Birse in Aberdeenshire. It is a Roman object, which has been passed from one native chief to another, ending up miles beyond the frontier. The bead dates between 80 and 200 AD.

The bead is a type known as a melon bead, due to its obvious resemblance to the fruit.

Melon beads are a long-lived form. They appear to have been introduced by the Romans into Britain, where they were copied in glass and other materials. Thereafter their popularity declined in Britain, but they were reintroduced later by Germanic invaders.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-439-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FJ 74
Date: 80 - 200 AD
Between 80 and 200 AD
Material: Greenish blue; melon shaped; ribbed
Who: Rae Collection
Where: Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Birse
Description: Ribbed melon-shaped bead of greenish blue glass, from Birse, Aberdeenshire, 80 - 200 AD
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